Indiana vs Michigan: Game info, preview, prediction and more

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 09: Indiana Hoosiers players take the floor against the Montana State Bobcats in the second half of the game at Assembly Hall on November 9, 2018 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers won 80-35. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 09: Indiana Hoosiers players take the floor against the Montana State Bobcats in the second half of the game at Assembly Hall on November 9, 2018 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers won 80-35. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The no. 21 ranked Hoosiers head to Ann Arbor to take on one of just four remaining undefeated teams in a Big Ten showdown.

In their biggest game since their loss to Duke, the Hoosiers face the no. 2 Michigan Wolverines on Sunday, looking to remain unbeaten in conference play.

The Wolverines look to improve on their 14-0 record this season and add another ranked win to their schedule.

John Beilein, one of the early front runners if not the favorite for national coach of the year, has his team playing better than his National Championship runner up squad from just a season ago.

Michigan has a great mix of both experience and young talent. Led by freshman Ignas Brazdeikis (16.4 PPG), the Wolverines returned seven players who were in constant rotation from last season.

At 6-foot-7, Brazdeikis can score in many ways whether it be taking advantage of his strong frame and length against smaller defenders, or utilizing his quickness and ball handling ability to beat a bigger defender off the dribble.

Two other talented wings, are that of Charles Matthews (13.9 PPG) and Jordan Poole (13.8 PPG).

Matthews, the former transfer from Kentucky, struggled earlier in the season to find the bottom of the net, shooting just 40.4 percent in their first nine games, with only two games over 45 percent. However, he has seemed to have found his stroke recently as that is up to 46 percent in his last five games, with only one performance under 45 percent from the field.

For Jordan Poole, his emergence as their third offensive option has been greatly welcomed. After averaging just 7.8 points per game in their first five games – only one in double-digits – Poole has scored in double-digits in their last nine games, averaging 17.1 points over that span.

The biggest reason for Michigan’s success though is all from the leadership of junior guard Zavier Simpson.

The (barely) 6-foot guard is only averaging 6.1 points per game, but is second in the Big Ten with 6.1 assists per game, and also adds 4.8 rebounds a game as well. Not only is he the motor on offense, but he sets the tone defensively with 1.5 steals per game (4th in Big 10).

With Indiana point guard Robert Phinisee out (concussion), and the lack of another true point guard on the roster, look for Simpson to cause many headaches in the backcourt for the Hoosiers.

Key to the Game

The Hoosiers have one of the most effective offenses in the country, while the Wolverines have one of the most effective defenses in the country; one of them has to give, but which will it be?

Indiana currently has the second highest field goal average in the country at 52.6 percent. Led by Juwan Morgan (67.6 percent) and Justin Smith (57 percent) down low, the lowest average by a rotational player is Devonte Green (37 percent), marking the only Hoosier to shoot below 44 percent overall. With a very wing heavy roster, that is extremely effective.

Romeo Langford, who leads the team with 13 shots a game, comes in at 52 percent from the field, an average that should be higher due to his almost four threes a game, making only 27 percent of them.

For the Wolverines, their defense ranks 20th overall forcing teams to shoot just 38 percent from the field.

Giving up just 55.1 points per game, and having a team defensive efficiency rating of 86.7, both of which rank second in the entire country, Indiana will have to be smart in their shot selection.

Though the Hoosiers shoot a good percentage from three, they rank 321 in the country in total three-point attempts (247), doing most of their work in the paint or mid-range.

A key player in the game will be that of Jon Teske.

The 7-foot-1 senior for Michigan is averaging 2.1 blocks per game, ranked second in the conference. Having a block in all but one game this season, he has had three games with four or more blocks.

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Leading the Big Ten in defensive efficiency with a 79.1 ranking, he also ranks fifth in the conference with a 8.1 block percentage.

What you need to know

What? Indiana 12-2 (3-0) at Michigan 14-0 (3-0)
When? Sunday, January 6 – 4:30 pm EST
Where? Crisler Center – Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV? CBS
Radio? IU Radio Network
All-Time series? Indiana leads series, 79-43
Prediction? Michigan 73, Indiana 64